It is no secret that ants love sugar, but it has recently been discovered that ants may like another substance even more, which, of course, is morphine. Researchers at the University of Scranton conducted an experiment that ended up demonstrating that ants, despite their small brains, are just as capable as humans at developing opiate addictions.
For the past several years opiate related deaths have increased dramatically across the United States. According to statistics, seventy eight people die of opiate related deaths on a daily basis, and that is just in the United States. The researchers are hoping that by observing the social behavior and brain activity of opiate addicted ants, the researchers could better understand how opiate addiction occurs in humans. By understanding how long-term addiction could alter the social behavior of ants, as well as their neural structures, researchers could learn more about the nature of human drug addiction.
Since ants are not even mammals, and are relatively simple creatures compared to humans, could ants serve as a viable model for understanding addiction in humans?